South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lindbergh hits home run with sale of Prop G bonds

“Call the Tune” by Mike Anthony

Lindbergh Schools officials once again have hit a financial home run for the district’s taxpayers.

By seeking competitive bids on more than $34 million worth of general-obligation bonds, Lindbergh officials saved district taxpayers roughly $1.1 million in interest over the 20-year term of the bonds.

Lindbergh voters authorized the sale of the bonds with the passage of Proposition G in the April election.

Prop G — for Growth — increased the district’s debt-service levy by 21 cents, to 68.3 cents per $100 of as-sessed valuation from 47.3 cents.

Bond proceeds will fund the construction of a 650-student elementary school on the nearly 10-acre Dressel School site at 10255 Musick Road.

In addition, $3 million of the bond proceeds will fund some critical needs at Lindbergh High School, including doubling the size of the cafeteria, creating two science classrooms from existing classrooms, converting a record-storage room into two new classrooms, modernizing the library and replacing the wood floor and bleachers in Gymnasium 3.

For the Sept. 9 bond sale, Lindbergh received 10 bids, with interest rates ranging from investment bank Piper Jaffray’s low bid of 2.84 percent to investment bank Jefferies LLC’s high bid of 3.1 percent.

Chief Financial Officer Charles Triplett said, “… Three to five bidders is considered very good, and we had 10 different firms bid for us today …”

Part of the reason Lindbergh bonds are so appealing is because they carry an Aa1 rating from Moody’s Investors Service, a national credit rating agency. The Aa1 rating is the highest a school district can earn.

In February, the school board ap-proved the sale of roughly $32.65 million in bonds to refund bonds issued in 2007 as part of Lindbergh’s Proposition R 2006 bond issue.

In December when the board put the wheels in motion for the bond refunding, the estimated savings to district taxpayers was $1.67 million. Thanks to the 14 bids the district received for the refunding, the actual savings to taxpayers was a stunning $3.5 million.

Lindbergh taxpayers are the sole beneficiaries of the savings because the $3.5 million will not be collected from them, and the district’s debt-service tax rate is set to collect only the revenue necessary to retire the bonds.

The sale of the Prop G bonds is just another example of the fiscal rewards reaped by residents as a result of the sound fiscal stewardship of Lindbergh officials.

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